Sick and Tried: COVID-19 and Minority Populations in American Prisons and Beyond

Award for pushing the limits of the form

By: Yuumna Akhundzadah, Shannon Howell, Jimmy Lira, Alyssa Lizarraga, Tiffany Teguh

A radio show about issues facing minorities in prison, presented by “inmates” of the Kelty Correctional Institution…

Have you not had your fill of information about COVID-19? Looking to spend your afternoon in discussion about American mass incarceration? Well you’re in luck! Welcome to Inside Cell Block J-STAY: InSARSeration edition.

We are a group of inmates at the Kelty Correctional Institution and we dedicate our time and voices each week to bring you a little news and a lot of perspective through our radio show. Join Yuumna, Shannon, Jimmy, Alyssa, and Tiffany as they guide you through American racism, incarceration, and public health, past and present. Currently, we are focusing on coverage of COVID-19 and how it is impacting those that have been quarantined long before the pandemic began – incarcerated individuals.

Now more than ever, we can see how the disproportionate rate of both Black and Latinx individuals puts these minorities at a higher risk of COVID-19. As inmates of color, we hope to share the specific challenges of minority inmates both here in America and throughout the world. This episode is broken into three specific sections that involve the coronavirus: an overview of what’s happening with the general public, the pandemic’s effect on prison minorities, and finally, the pandemic’s impact on Indian prisons.

Our aim is to create space to encourage discussions with those in the system and those outside of it. Whether through our own experiences or through interviews with those who have dealt with the system, we hope our show brings attention to an often overlooked community. We have also created a website,, where you can easily access all our episodes and find more resources on topics that we’ve discussed. From COVID-19 testing to legal resources for compassionate release due to the pandemic, we’ve got you covered.

comments powered by Disqus
Based on and Kishan B